Techniques That Have Helped Patients from Thumb and Finger Sucking

Here are some techniques which can help people from getting rid of thumb-sucking habits.

1) Viewing pictures of patients who came to the office at an older age demonstrating the effects on the teeth/mouth of continued digit habits. You can also search online to look for various techniques for thumb sucking prevention among children.

Image Source: Google

2) Seeing and holding models of orthodontic habit appliances.  The appliances are specifically designed to be non-punitive/comfortable; however, some children will prefer to try harder at home in order to minimize/avoid any appliances.

3) If the habit is primarily night time: Putting socks on your child’s hands is a comfortable way of making the thumb not accessible in case it “automatically” goes into the mouth while sleepy/sleeping.

4) If the habit is primarily at evening and night: A strip of adhesive tape connecting the thumb to the forefinger allows more finger function than a sock, yet serves as a gentle reminder since the thumb and forefinger do not fit well into the mouth when attached together with a piece of tape.

5) If the habit is daytime and nighttime: Some comfort is thought to be derived from the overall body posture taken while sucking the thumb/fingers.

6) If a blanket or special toy is associated with a daytime/continuous habit: Keep the blanket/toy in bed so that “they don’t risk getting lost and can stay clean”. This stepwise approach of limiting the habit to bedtime only as first step can show the child that cutting back/eliminating the habit may be possible.

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